Natasha Marrian Deputy editor: Financial Mail

As I pull an ANC provincial chairman aside for an interview he says: "You are stressed, I can see it in your face." "You look worse," I laugh. He is supporting Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency. It is the second day of the ANC’s 54th national conference and the so-important party credentials or attendance register has just been adopted. My anxiety is wrought by deadlines, frustration over the media’s isolation from ANC delegates for the first time — in the past we were able to interact with them, talk about the weather and the food, interact as humans. This time the media were gated in a corner. His anxiety was over the election race and whether his man would win. But he is mum about why his optimism over Ramaphosa’s chances has dimmed. Something is up. I wrap up my interview and hit the phone. It emerges that Ramaphosa’s backers have 397 delegates from Mpumalanga "quarantined" — they had committed to voting for him. But the Dlamini-Zuma faction has begun calling these delegate...

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